Climate change plan must set out roadmap to net-zero, says CCC
The Scottish Government should set out the UK’s first roadmap to net-zero emissions in its upcoming climate plan, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said.
The government is due to publish its next Climate Change Plan in December, after it was delayed from April by the coronavirus pandemic.
The CCC, in its annual progress report to the Scottish Parliament, said this plan must set out a clear strategy to offset greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
It also said the government should look to prioritise low-carbon heating, rural support schemes, and eliminating the need to buy petrol or diesel cars by 2032 – such as investing in public transport and electric vehicle infrastructure, and measures to support continued working from home.
Lord Deben, chair of the CCC, said: “Scotland faces an extraordinary challenge in dealing with COVID-19, but we must not lose sight of the climate crisis.
“The decisions to secure a resilient recovery are pivotal. Scotland can no longer rely on electricity generation to reduce its emissions, so it must begin to make more meaningful progress in the other sectors of the economy.
“To reach net-zero emissions ahead of the rest of the UK and to earn its stripes as an international climate leader when the world looks to Glasgow next year, decisive action and clear policies are urgently required.”
The progress report also recommends the Scottish Government work on a cross-government response to create the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and the development of a UK Emissions Trading System.
MSPs backed the aim of offsetting all emissions by 2045 last year. The previous legislation aimed for emissions to be reduced by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Emissions in Scotland fell by 31 per cent between 2008 and 2018, faster than any other G20 nation.
However, the 2018 annual emissions target was missed and the CCC has also warned the 2020 target is only likely to be met due to lockdown restrictions constraining emissions temporarily.